at 19 he opened his first restaurant in Pau

“My age is what makes it original. If I was 30, it would be less attractive!” jokes the young chef, fully in his role, which is to say overwhelmed. It’s almost 2pm and the last…

“My age is what makes it original. If I was 30, it would be less attractive!” jokes the young chef, fully in his role, which is to say overwhelmed. It’s almost 2pm and the last customers are leaving the restaurant, which previously hosted Lou Esberit.

Zian Bodou hangs around a bit, shakes hands, asks questions. Do we enjoy it? On the menu this afternoon: “Skovens Velouté, spruce; cod confit, carrot broth with kaffir lime leaves and black lemon; iced coffee, textured with a chocolate meringue, jasmine flower. “. All is well, we enjoyed it. Zian can take a breather before resuming the evening service.

A few hours seized by the new life of this little prodigy in the kitchen, whose story begins not far from the Madiran vineyard in Arrosès, at the age of 6. The posters on the walls? Portraits of great chefs. The first literary feelings? Recipe books. He owes this taste for cooking to his father, the creator of the Pau Guitar Academy, Hervé Bodou. When the music is there, the kitchen is never far away. “She is like a form of music when there is a certain level. That’s my goal: to give emotion. A guitar lover, he prefers food. Thus, Zian Bodou plays his own score.

With Guérard and Etchebest

After studying at Garlin College, the young lad enrolled at the Haute-Vue hotel school in Morlaàs for basic training, where there were more than 400, and easily obtained his professional culinary bachelor. His principal Yves Lauga-Cami remembers a “very ambitious student who wanted to innovate and go beyond the ordinary, who almost wanted to go too fast. But it is all his merit. Yves Lauga-Cami recalls that it is rare to complete a “training period in the professional environment – the beginning of professionalization – at Guérard”. In the mythical place of Eugénie-les-Bains, with three stars. It feels.


Forest velouté, taste of porcini mushrooms and spruce.

David Le Deodic/SOUTHWEST

Cod confit, carrot broth with combava leaves and black lemon.


Cod confit, carrot broth with combava leaves and black lemon.

David Le Deodic/SOUTHWEST

In the winter of 2020, the high school student took part in the TV program broadcast on M6, “Objective Top Chef”, hosted by Philippe Etchebest, where he finished in the final and then worked for several months in the famous chef’s star restaurant, Le Quatrième Mur. in Bordeaux. At the weekends, Zian Bodou works hard with his father in the Vic-Bilh table d’hôte, which he created in a manor house from 1671. Zian then won the gold medals in departmental and regional events in the competition for the best Apprentice in France: he plays his “allegretto” score.

Signature kitchen

With Obsidienne, the young chef offers a cuisine that draws its inspiration from several sources: molecular cuisine, classic cuisine, especially sauces, nature. “It is the signature kitchen, which is not prepared in advance, we try to make it as best as possible. I change a lot of little things at the last minute! », Adjusts the young Béarnais, mischievously.

“I could draw inspiration from anything as long as it’s interesting: the smell of an old book, for example,” he continues. Everything is a pretext for cooking: broths of dead leaves carefully collected around the mountain streams, and more generally the local products, in the heart of the Pyrenees. For the evening meal, “we are much more extreme, we push much flatter”. Daring is his brand.

The models, which are no longer of childhood, are never far away. Chefs Arnaud Donckele, Anne-Sophie Pic, Alain Ducasse inspire him today with their creativity, their search for perfection, their originality. With his restaurant Obsidienne serving around twenty covers, Zian Bodou hopes to win a star. “There is still a lot of work to be done to achieve it, but little by little it is the goal.” His first dream of opening a restaurant has already come true, he probably has many more.

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